In response to criticism from US President Donald Trump, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has vowed to invest $600 million to create 400 jobs to their Princeton, Indiana plant.
“This expansion project is part of Toyota’s localization strategy to build vehicles where they are sold,” the company’s January 24 statement said.
Trump had been particularly harsh on Ford during his presidential campaign, accusing them of moving jobs to Mexico to cut costs at the expense of the American middle class worker. After being elected, he went after General Motors, Toyota, and BMW also for manufacturing in Mexico and importing back to America.
For Toyota specifically, Trump called out Toyota’s plans announced in 2015 to build a Mexico factory. He said they need to build the plant in the US or face a “big border tax.” The new plant is reportedly being built to supplement the Mississippi plant and will not cost any US jobs, according to the company.
Toyota has stated that they understand Trump’s desire to create more jobs in the US and hope to work with him on that more in the future. The company met with former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on January 10 to speak about the new initiative, but they reportedly did not discuss Trump’s harsh words toward the company.
The Princeton factory will use the funds to employ new workers to assist in pumping out more Highlander SUVs, reducing the need to import them from abroad.